No one ever said Dating was easy. Putting yourself "out there" takes a certain amount of courage, and finding that special someone can sometimes be compared to navigating our way through a minefield; we're interacting with people we don't know very well and who don't know us yet, communicating through the less-than-perfect art of body language, trying to be ourselves and retain our dignity while trying to find love, a state which can make us feel vulnerable at best. It's no wonder there are so many singles still searching these days, and things get even tougher as we get older.
So if the sayings are true; "Love has no bounds", "Love is ageless" etc., why is it even harder to find love as we get older? When things aren't working in our lives, we have a tendency to look outwards for the reasons why; it's easier to blame something external for our dissatisfaction. But if we take a good hard look at the areas in our lives which aren't working, the common denominator, is often us. To help put a stop to this common pattern of being our own worst enemy, ask yourself the following questions, and answer yourself honestly:
1. Are you physically available for a relationship? Do you make time to find love or are you just hoping it will magically cross your path? Are you willing to dedicate the time needed to find that person and cultivate a meaningful relationship? How big of a priority is finding love to you, and is it reflected in the time you spend finding it? As we get older, our careers and family can often take centre stage - but like our careers, finding love takes time and effort too.
2. Are you emotionally available for a relationship? In order to exchange an honest love with someone, you have to be willing to share yourself, and be truly invested in getting to know the other person for who they are as well. Are you afraid of losing yourself, or getting hurt? Have you built a wall up to protect yourself? This very wall is the same one which will keep love out.
3. Are you jaded or cynical? Do you find yourself being down on love? This is a sure-fire way to make sure you don't find it! We've all had our hearts broken, and we've all gone through tough relationships. The challenge as we get older is to not let ourselves get weighed down by our past, but to learn from it. Being jaded about love and searching for it at the same time is pointless, and if you manage to attract anyone at all, they certainly won't be the positive person you desire underneath your cynicism. Allow yourself to hope and be positive - this is our natural state of being as humans. With a positive and hopeful attitude, finding love will be that much easier. If you haven't gotten over the sting of your past, make this your priority before looking for love.
4. Are you too rigid and set in your ways? One thing many of us are guilty of as we get older is a lack of tolerance. We're so used to doing things our own way, a way we believe is the only and best way, that we leave no room for someone else's personality to shine, and no room to learn. No matter what age we are, we always continue to learn. Every person we meet can teach us something new about ourselves if we allow it; love is not about finding someone who fits perfectly into our preconceived notion of what our life needs.
True love reminds us of the wonder the world can hold. In order to find it, you must invite it into your life, so making sure you're in healthy a mindset to begin with is more than half the battle!